Training: Papers‎ > ‎

(Lenz 2013)

Article/Study Title:  

Evidence for the Utility of a Photovoice Task as an Empathic Skill Acquisition Strategy Among Counselors-in-Training

DOI or Website Link:  DOI: 10.1002/J.2161-1939.2013.00031.x



Date:   April 2013

A. Stephen Lenz, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Research, The University of Memphis; Varunee Faii Sangganjanavanich, Department of Counseling, The University of Akron.

Citation: Lenz, A. S., &  Sangganjanavanich, V. F. (2013). Evidence for the utility of a Photovoice task as an empathic skill acquisition strategy among counselors-in-training. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, 52(April), 39-53.

Abstract:   Cut and pasted:

An instructional technique derived from photovoice was compared with a didactic approach for empathic skill acquisition among 38 master's-level counselors-in-training. Participants in the photovoice condition demonstrated marked improvements in quality of empathic statements compared with those receiving didactic lecture. Considerations for implementing this educational approach are provided.

Topic Area:
Counselor training

(How was empathy defined?)

Empathic responding: 'Raskin and Rogers (2000) proposed an encompassing and accepted description of this empathic demonstration, and they stated that demonstrating empathy was "an active, immediate, and continuous process" (p. 147) in which the counselor becomes aware of the client's attitudes and feelings, experiences those states, and creates a mirror through which the client can explore and discover deeper meanings through the counselor's accurate understanding.'

(Were any benefits of empathy mentioned?)
"understand the experiences and affirm a holistic perspective of clients as they engage in the processes of growth and development over the life span"

 (What were the methods used to train empathy?)
  •  "Photovoice, a method of participatory pedagogy, involves the use of photographs to evaluate social and cultural phenomena associated with diverse populations by someone outside of the community that is depicted (Wang & Burris, 1997). In photovoice activities, participants are encouraged to critically examine photos of situations in communities that are different from theirs and to explain perceptions of the situations that represent a changed perspective."
  • Participatory visual analysis ... provides an opportunity to evaluate the world of diverse populations by having participants select photographs that have already been taken and narrate their subjective response to the images (Wang & Burris, 1997).
  • We hypothesized that engaging in this adaptation of a participatory visual analysis photovoice activity would be positively associated with CITs' increased ability to demonstrate empathic communication for client issues when responding to case example prompts.

  • In this quasi-experimental design, students in one course section were randomly selected to receive a traditional didactic lecture and the other to complete an alternative pedagogical strategy based on the participatory visual analysis task associated with photovoice; both groups addressed developing the knowledge and skills for communicating empathy with clients.

Target Group:  
(Who participated in this study / training?)

40 master's-level counseling students (34 women, 6 men) completing an orientation to counseling course

About the assessment: How was the change in empathy measured before/after the intervention/method?) 

Pretest for level of empathy

Postlecture empathic skill acquisition assessment and self-reports

(What was the result?)

Our findings indicated that participants in the photovoice group increased their ability to demonstrate empathic responding as measured by their EQ (M = 7.22) when compared with participants in the traditional lecture condition (M = 4.06).

Our findings provide evidence supporting the hypothesis that a photovoice participatory visual analysis task is a more effective means for counselor educators to facilitate the demonstration of empathy by CITs when compared with didactic lecture.

Posted By:  
 Dorothy Della Noce

(Any other relevant information)

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